When I began my job search last year, I started to compare my success to others based on age.
- He’s 24-years-old and already an Account Executive?...How did that happen so quickly? I’m 24 and still faxing papers as an Administrative Assistant!
- She’s 30-years-old and makes only a little more money than me??... I hope I don’t end up like that at her age!
I graduated college with an impressive resume chock-full of experience and a full-time position that I enjoyed and others envied as they struggled to find jobs. Yet, a couple of years later I saw that many of my former classmates moved forward in their careers, while I suddenly found myself falling behind. I started to compare myself to them based on their positions and salary, and I became discouraged and lost confidence. Eventually, a colleague told me, “Success is not a race. Everyone moves at their own pace.”
Ironically on my 25th birthday this year, Yahoo! Finance posted “What Extremely Successful People Were Doing At Age 25,” and it serves as the perfect reminder that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. Even the most successful people, such as Martha Stewart, Ralph Lauren, Jay-Z, and JK Rowling, were once interns, daydreamers, switching careers, or struggling to find their niche at my age before they became multi-millionaires and household names.
A career is built on experiences, and age is just a number. I now realize that there are no right or wrong jobs or positions at any point in any one’s life, as every job is an opportunity to learn and take a step in a new direction. If you work hard and are happy every day, then that’s the level of success that we should all strive for. In case you need even more convincing, here are some inspiring quotes on true success:
Don't aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in it, and it will come naturally. -David Frost
“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.” -Bob Dylan
“I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” -Booker T. Washington
“There are many aspects to success; material wealth is only one component. ...But success also includes good health, energy and enthusiasm for life, fulfilling relationships, creative freedom, emotional and psychological stability, a sense of well-being, and peace of mind.” -Deepak Chopra